Use the Google Map above to locate AR Points of Interest for the EcoTour project. To access the EcoTour application at Paynes Prairie, download the free HP Reveal app and follow the “EcoTourAR” channel.
About Augmented Reality
Each year, more and more computer users opt for smartphones and tablets over traditional desktop and laptop interfaces. Alongside this shift to more mobile forms of computing comes a rise in technologies that rely on information within the user’s immediate surroundings. Applications such as Yelp! and Lyft, for instance, deliver location-specific search results based on the user’s mobile device GPS coordinates. This kind of technology, known as “locative media,” is poised to revolutionize not only how we interact with computers, but, more importantly, how we interact rhetorically within a space and the kind of information we can (and cannot) access within it.
More recently, advancements in smartphone camera technologies and mobile processing have made it possible to create dynamic, multimedia visualizations that make it appear as though digital content (e.g. images, videos, 3D models, etc.) exists within physical space. This technology, known as “Augmented Reality (AR),” is already within use in mainstream social media applications like Snapchat, and many experts agree that AR is the last piece of the technological puzzle necessary for the mass adoption of more mobile and location-based forms of computing.
As scholars focused on exploring the intersections of rhetoric and digital media, we feel it incumbent upon the emerging field of digital rhetoric to pay close attention to this shift to mobile computing and its implications for ideas and theories that are integral to our research and teaching practices, including public writing, environmental rhetoric, digital ethics, accessibility, and surveillance, among many others. Moreover, and as the EcoTour project demonstrates, it is vital that our approach to the rhetorics of emerging technologies take a more “hands-on” approach through the pursuit of collaborative, publicly-driven initiatives that allow us to test and modify our theories against real-world applications.